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Mirin Glazed Salmon

5 stars based on 24 votes

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson. It’s an elegant and remarkably easy dish, one that completely belies the amount of effort on your part. Most of the ingredients are right out of the pantry, and you can have it on the table in 20 minutes. Honest! To that end, be sure to have your fishmonger portion and skin the salmon for you — it’s a huge timesaver — and start cooking your rice beforehand so that everything will be ready at the same time. You’ll see the sweetness of the marinade causes the salmon to caramelize while cooking, which creates a beautiful sear and gorgeous, rich mahogany glaze.

Note: Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine found in the Asian section of most supermarkets.  

Mirin Glazed Salmon

Servings: 4
Total Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (do not substitute dark brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin removed (preferably cut narrow and tall, rather than wide and flat)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 scallions, halved and sliced into fine strips

Instructions

  1. Mix the mirin, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a shallow dish that will hold all 4 salmon fillets. Stir to dissolve sugar. Place the salmon in the dish and marinate for 5 –10 minutes, turning once.
  2. Meanwhile, set a very large non-stick skillet (or two smaller ones) on the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Place the salmon fillets in the hot, dry pan – nice sides down – and cook for a few minutes until nicely seared and coated with a rich brown glaze (keep a close eye on the pan; this happens quickly). Turn the fillets over, reduce the heat to medium, and add the marinade and water to the pan (if using two pans, add marinade and water to both). Cook 3-5 minutes more, until fish reaches desired doneness. If the sauce looks like it’s reducing or thickening too quickly, just add a bit of water a few tablespoons at a time. Do not let it burn. Transfer salmon fillets to serving platter or plates. If sauce is nicely reduced and thickened, turn off heat. If not, continue to cook over medium heat until desired consistency is reached. Add the rice wine vinegar to the sauce and stir. Pour the sauce over salmon fillets, top with scallions and serve.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 437
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 36g
  • Sodium: 1005mg
  • Cholesterol: 94mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Do I use a non stick pan or a stainless steel pan for this recipe ?

    - Leah on April 4, 2017 Reply
    • Non-stick– enjoy!

      - Jenn on April 5, 2017 Reply
  • Could this be broiled and reduce the sauce in a pan instead?

    - Stephanie on March 8, 2017 Reply
    • Sure, Stephanie, that’ll work. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 9, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This glazed salmon recipe is perfectly delicious! Very easy to make the marinade and glaze. It will be a staple in my recipe book. Thanks for sharing!

    - Patricia English on December 2, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is one of my favorite fish dishes using salmon. At first I wondered how it would work out with the fish being in a very hot pan with no oil but it was perfectly seared. Just make sure the pan is hot and don’t put it in before it gets there. It’s the kind of fish dish that people who normally don’t like fish will enjoy.

    - Anne G on November 8, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jen I love this dish. I’m entertaining tonight and will be making it for dinner. What would you recommend serving it with?

    - Maya on July 4, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Maya, The sauce has a lot of flavor so I’d recommend plain white rice and a green vegetable — you could do my Haricots Verts with Shallots. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on July 4, 2016 Reply
    • 5 stars

      How would you change recipe for diabetics? Any substitute for the sugar?

      - Stephen Schreibman on January 22, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wow, this was pretty amazing. It really came together quickly! I served it with basmati rice with green onion and sauteed bok choy. Hubby thought it was pretty great!

    - Kait on February 8, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I thought this might be too sweet but it turned out really good. I’ve not used Mirin much in the past so this was a great recipe to begin with. We all liked it a lot and will definitely make again! (Used steelhead trout as a substitute for the salmon. Equally good if not a bit milder flavor).

    - Mary on August 31, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have a whole filet of salmon that I would like to cook in the oven, but I love this recipe which I’ve made before. Can I marinate, pour marinade into small skillet, roast the whole salmon on a rack and just reduce the sauce in skillet – what is your opinion?

    - Donna Turovac on August 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Donna, Yes, that will work just fine. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    loved this with salmon. Wondering if it would work with scallops?

    - Tony on July 25, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Tony, I do think that would work beautifully. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out.

      - Jenn on July 26, 2015 Reply
      • It worked really well. Everyone loved this with scallops. I didn’t change anything but I might add a little more vinegar to the sauce next time as the scallops are already quite sweet. Maybe some fresh ginger too!

        - Tony on July 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Is there any nutritional information available?

    - Matt on June 14, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Matt, I’ve just updated the nutritional data underneath the recipe.

      - Jenn on June 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Just finished…. I enjoyed it. Very good, tasty. Simple ingredients and easy to prepare. Took longer to cook down the marinade. I think next time I will use less water. I was in the mood for a baked potato and it went well together. Only problem was that the plating did not look as elegant as if it was with rice. I can’t wait to cook this again.
    Thank you

    - James Thorp on March 29, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My daughter seems only to be a picky eater when it comes to fish,, so I’m always looking for a recipe that she will eat and the mirin glazed salmon is it! she ate her entire portion — sweet but not too sweet, it was the perfect flavor combination. My kids have come to know that recipes from your web site are always winners!! thank you!

    - Alisa on March 27, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I love a sweet glaze on salmon, and this was delicious and easy. THANK YOU for providing healthy and easy weeknight dinner recipes!

    - Christine S. on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    As good as I’ve had in restaurants! I usually make fish on Sunday evenings as it is fast. I am happy to have another recipe to add my repertoire. Thanks, Jenn.

    - Niki on March 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I actually loved this so much I verbally gave the recipe to a man at the seafood counter with me! I found him the ingredients and your website with the recipe. He called to tell me it was delicious!

    - Allison on March 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Jenn! Again you deliver! This salmon recipe outdoes every one I have tried! My two girls and I absolutely love it! Your website is the best and I love the alterations you make! They bring out serious flavor! Please don’t ever go anywhere!

    - Allison on March 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this for the first time, followed your instructions to the “T”. DELICIOUS!! I would not change a thing and will surely be making this more often! Thanks!

    - Elisa on February 3, 2015 Reply
  • Hi,

    I was wondering if I can bake instead of frying?

    - Lynda Kelly on February 3, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Lynda, Unfortunately, baking won’t work for this recipe. Sorry!

      - Jenn on February 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Another absolutely stellar recipe from you! Thank you so much. Every recipe I have made from your site has been 5 stars. My husband, 9 month old, and 2.5 year old all loved the mirin glazed salmon tonight. : )

    - Jenny Sproule on February 2, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Excellent, quick, simple, concise, tasty and just lovely! My wife loved it. I actually skinned the salmon, battered the skin with lightly with flour, salt and garlic, fried it with sesame oil till it was crunchy. I used the same base for the glaze sauce, grated a bit of ginger, cooled it off and used it as salad dressing. Everyone loved it!

    - Affie on January 13, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    This is another simple and quick meal to prepare, but I found it a little hard to pull off the skin, and that the salmon meat came apart a little….so next time I will just leave the skin on. I also came across a similar recipe (i.e. soysauce-based sauce) from justonecookbook.com that I think is a little more flavorful – it calls for butter/olive oil when pan-frying. I served it with a simple baby bok choy stir-fry and it was a hit….

    - Ponyo on December 9, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this salmon dish twice. The first time, I followed the recipe to the T and it turned out great. The second time, I decided to experiment by cutting fish into 8 oz pieces and let the fish cook in the sauce until sauce got fully absorbed, i.e.there was no more runny sauce in the pan. It took extra 4-5 minutes, but the result was amazing, the fish was juicy, sweet and yummy. Even my 5 year old who absolutely never eats fish enjoyed this salmon dish. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ll be making this more often.

    - Masuda on December 5, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this salmon dish last night and everyone loved it. It was so easy to make yet tasted delicious. Thank you so much!

    - Masuda on November 11, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Can you use this recipe on a grill ?

    - Thomas Guider on September 24, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Thomas, I guess you could grill the salmon and prepare the sauce separately on the stovetop, but it’s probably easier to make it all in the same pan.

      - Jenn on September 24, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved it!!!

    - Deb on August 4, 2014 Reply
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  • Even if the rules were changed, this kid will know it by heart
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  • This was FANTASTIC and so easy to make! I had to cook this much longer than the suggested 3-5 minutes but it was still delicious. Glad to add this to my repertoire!

    - Mo on April 11, 2014 Reply
  • Made this last night and it was delicious, as well as quick and easy. Since I didn’t have mirin I checked the Internet for a substitute. Marsala wine was recommended so I substituted Marsala and was very pleased with the result. Will try it again with mirin to see the difference in taste. This is a great dish and now is definitely one of my go-to recipes.

    - Patricia on March 12, 2014 Reply
  • This recipe is in heavy rotation in our home. This recipe makes me look like a pro in the kitchen.

    - Yelena on October 9, 2013 Reply
  • I made this for my husband tonight. He kept saying how delicious it was between each bite! A quick, healthy weeknight meal.

    - Yelena on September 10, 2013 Reply
  • This dish is fabulous. Both my husband and I never get tired of it. I serve it with brown rice and drizzled the sauce over the rice. Fast and easy. Thanks for another great recipe.

    - Phyllis on March 15, 2013 Reply
  • We loved this salmon! Want to try this sauce with chicken and beef also.

    - Jill on March 14, 2013 Reply
  • We eat salmon about once a week and this was such a great way to mix it up! The only thing I changed was using tamari instead of soy sauce to make this gluten free.

    - Julia on March 10, 2013 Reply
  • This is my FAVORITE salmon dish! I’ve also used the glaze for Mongolian Beef – perfect!

    - Amy Simonson on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Jenn, So delicious! Your recipes are so easy to follow, and everything I’ve made has been fabulous! Tomorrow I’m going to try the homemade granola.

    - Pam on February 8, 2013 Reply
  • I was unclear in step 2, once you add the water and marinade to the fish, do you cook covered or uncovered? ( I covered it, and it worked fine.) I served the salmon over a salad of greens and avacado. It was DELISH! The sauce, as other reviewers have said, is just perfect. Definitely a do-over.

    - Lisa on June 20, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Lisa, No need to cover the pan. Glad you enjoyed!

      - Jenn on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Loved this recipe. One salmon filet browned up really well in the glaze and the other didn’t, so maybe i’ll use a different pan next time. But the flavor was excellent.

    - Andrew on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. My husband is not a big salmon lover and he asked if there was enough for seconds!

    - Sally on May 18, 2012 Reply
  • This is, in my opinion, one of your best recipes! The sauce is so good I usually make double the recipe just to have leftover! I tried it on flank steak and it was really similar to Mongolian Beef. Love it!!

    - Amy Simonson on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I made this for three friends (2 females and 1 male), last night and they all loved it! Thanks again, Jenn!

    - Kim on March 19, 2012 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I LOVE this recipe!!! Right after the salmon was cooked, I removed it from the pan, added white rice, and mixed it in really well to soak up all the sauce. It was so good that I think I’ll be making this at least once a week. Thank you so much!!

    - Kim on March 15, 2012 Reply
  • Delicious, one of my favorite ways to prepare salmon. That Nigella sure knows her stuff! (And so do you!)

    - Victoria on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Have always cooked salmon either over or under. This one was perfect

    - MARIA on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I think I make this at least once a week. It gets my kids to eat fish and I love having extra sauce to pour on top of whatever green vegetable is on the side which provides further motivation for eating the vegetables too!

    - Helen Clark on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This sounds fantastic! I’m always looking for new ways to make salmon

    - Megan on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This is my husband’s favorite dish. I make it at least once a week! Thank you!

    - Suzanne on March 21, 2010 Reply
  • why not dark brown sugar? would it cause it to burn?

    - Joley H. on January 11, 2010 Reply
    • Yes, Joley, it may burn.

      - Jenn on March 28, 2012 Reply
  • Made this for my husband and it was wonderful, and very easy to make too!!

    - Vicki on November 2, 2009 Reply
  • made this for a big family dinner and it was a big hit. we had extra sauce so i put it in a sauceboat and served it on the side. everyone loved it.

    - deb on October 9, 2009 Reply
  • I never cooked with Mirin before and am so glad to have finally tried it. I made this over the weekend and even my husband who does not usually like salmon loved it. The sauce was amazing. I’ll definintely be making this again…it was so easy too!

    - Lynn on October 7, 2009 Reply

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